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September 28, 2009

Tweet Your Marketing Message

Twitter has, on several occasions, staggered a little bit under the weight of its explosive growth – and occasionally, when a major news break happens, “tweeters” from around the world spring forward and crash their servers. It’s difficult to think of anything that has had such an amazing growth curve as this upstart social networking platform. Twitter didn’t exist at the beginning of 2006, yet today it’s ranked as the 25th most important website in the world by a number of visitors, and it has many millions of active followers.

Twitter does break the usual trends somewhat, insofar as anything to do with social networking has an established “trend” of course. Twitter allows you to post messages, either through a web portal or on your mobile phone, letting everyone know what you think, where you are or what you’re doing. Your message is restricted to 140 characters or less, so it’s always succinct. You have the option of selecting who you want to talk to, and who you want to hear from – known as “followers” or “following” in the world of Twitter.

At this particularly early stage of its ongoing development, Twitter doesn’t really seem to have any business model as such. You can quickly sign up and start “tweeting” your message at no cost whatsoever. Marketers take a long hard look at the viral capabilities provided by this service and they begin to salivate. Opportunities await those who seek to harness its power.

Twitter is ideal for communicating news or interacting with your peers. You can send a message directly from your mobile phone using one of the currently available applications, without even having to visit a computer. It’s difficult to estimate the actual number of users because of the fluid nature of the platform, but many experts do caution that the number of avid users, or those who actively follow and get followed, represents a very small proportion of the total user base.

While the number of engaged users may be only a few percentage points of the total user base, the Twitter platform can still be viewed as having good marketing potential. Internet marketers need to approach the task of soliciting followers carefully. Whatever your niche, the first thing that you need to do is to seek out other experts who are regular “tweeters”. You can do this by using a simple search within the program. Once you find these experts, take a constructive look at their list of followers, as your job is to try and add friends or followers to your Twitter feed in a concerted and sensible way.

As it appears that the vast majority of members do not actively keep up with Twitter, it follows that there is no point in adding followers without trying to qualify them. If you can see that the potential follower has an active list of people who he or she is following and, in turn, is being followed by, then they are potential targets for you.

Work toward building a list of followers by initially just following the individuals who you think might have a particular interest in your specific products or services. If you’ve taken the time to qualify them and you discover that they follow you in return, then you’re well on your way.

While you can get away with just including your information in the profile supplied by Twitter, most internet marketing experts recommend that you also design some sort of banner or customised template rather than using a generic wallpaper background. This should include your branding, logo and message and it’s something that all serious marketers maintain.

As is the case with any form of Internet marketing, make sure that you do not spam and that your messages are always relevant, informative and/or entertaining. There is a time and a place for you to include your marketing message, and you must always do this in a subtle way. Happy Tweeting!

Michelle Dale is The Managing Director of Virtual Miss Friday, an accomplished Executive Virtual Assistant Service which helps companies of all sizes reach their commercial targets. Want to get more information about online business building success strategies that really work? Then why not Contact VMF Today at=>